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ENGL 431: American Frontiers: Secondary Sources

Humanities International Complete

Humanities International Complete indexes over 1,200 journals in the humanities and creative arts, including many not indexed elsewhere.  It is an excellent starting point especially for interdisciplinary research in the humanities.

Multidisciplinary Databases

These databases provide access to many scholarly journals and other resources in the Humanities, but they are more limited in coverage compared to subject databases.  In many cases, it's better to search subject databases to identify articles, and then search the journal title in Primo to link to the materials in these e-journal collections. However, when you are specifically undertaking interdisciplinary research, these databases can be excellent starting places.

Choosing the Best Finding Aids

Selecting the best or most appropriate finding aid for identifying sources depends almost entirely on the context of your research assignment.  There is no single database or web search interface that will work for every research context; instead, you'll need to match your specific research needs to a variety of options. Don't forget,  recommended subject databases for each discipline can also be found on the "articles" tab in each library subject guide.

Recommended Subject Databases

There are several databases from which to choose when you are seeking scholarly work.  Most databases for historians focus on a particular geographical and/or chronological period.  Always make sure that you've selected the most appropriate database to search!

Database Search Tips

Don't forget to prepare a list of related terms and concepts but BEFORE you begin searching! This will save you time a give you a sense of direction as you search.

When you construct your search, you'll want to connect synonyms with the Boolean operator "OR" and different concepts with the Boolean operator "AND."  You also can use truncation (the asterisk*) to find all forms and spellings of a word.

Always use the advanced search interface and some combination of the following techniques to increase the effectiveness of your searches:

Search Technique   What It Does
quotation marks Searches for exact phrase
Truncation (usually an *) Searches for all forms of a word
Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) Lets you broaden or narrow your search
Database thesaurus or index             Allows you to pinpoint the exact indexing terms the database uses

 

Here's an example in action:
Borderland Search Example

Tipasa: Interlibrary Loan

Tipasa logo

If your article is not available at Collins Library, you've got another option for getting it. Use Tipasa, our interlibrary loan service.

Tipasa is linked to your library account so you'll need to log in to use it.

Once you are logged in, either go directly to Tipasa and manually enter the information, or, if you're using a database, look for a shortcut link to automatically fill out the form, like this:

Interlibrary Loan Link

Allow at least a week for the article to come. If your article is delivered in electronic format, you'll receive an email with a link to follow as soon as it's arrived.

Need Help?

This subject guide highlights only a small portion of the many resources available to you. If you're not finding what you need, don't hesitate to contact Katy!

Katy Curtis, Humanities Librarian
email: kcurtis@pugetsound.edu
Schedule an appointment
tel: (253) 879-3672
office: Collins Library 140

If you can't find Katy, remember there are several ways to get help with your research

For immediate assistance, connect to our 24/7 Ask a Librarian chat service.